Wednesday, February 25, 2009



more scenes from the Somali Bantu refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya


I have scrolled through many pictures this morning contemplating both recent trips.

I am overwhelmed at all I have seen. It is hard for me to believe all the Lord has led me through over the past month. This journey is amazing.

Today, I simply need to pause and say thanks to Him.

It is hard for me to assimilate all I have seen and experienced. I wish I could infect many with the virus of this enthusiasm. At the same time, perspective on what is really happening is needed.

When my son passed away, and we walked through the valley of the shadow, there was no way we could accept lukewarm Christianity, any longer.

When I visit other lands and see the power of God on display in ways it seems to lack in my own country, it is hard to want to remain here.

So many have accepted the life pursuits where worship happens at the altar of materialism.

In these other lands, there is no such foolishness. They lack basic necessities of life, and are gospel poor. When they hear and receive the Word of God, their lives change. Not through material possessions, but through surrender. Their impact on those around them sometimes costs them their lives.

Miracles still occur in those lands because the people will respond and believe.

They pursue Christ, and love Him with abandon.

Here, we seem to abandon Christ and pursue wealth.

Suddenly, our economy tanks. Most of us wonder what will happen next. Most of us are impacted by this downturn, and begin to pray with new motivation.

Still, our motivation lacks true purpose, if we are praying for our own well being and the preservation of our wealth.

I do not wish to suffer anymore than anyone else. I don't enjoy doing without.

I have seen those who do without, do so as a lifestyle, where they have never known the blessing of plenty. They often do not know where their next meal will come from or how they will be able to feed their own children.

Have we been so rich for so long that we have forgotten what is really important? Will economic downturn really draw us back to what is important? Will a new connectedness to Christ based on money or the lack thereof, bring about the intimacy we need with Him?

According to Scripture, when his people do not respond, He impacts their economy. When this does not get their attention, their ecology turns. And when that does not have the necessary impact, open war tends to break out.

Are we not already seeing all three of these signs? How much worse do things need to get before we begin to honor Him as Savior and King? Are we really paying attention?

It is time that we engage, and serve. He died that we might have life. Then He challenged us to make disciples of all nations, including this one. This commission did not just apply to the twelve. It does not just apply to preachers. It applies to us all. It is time we empty our hands of foolishness, and follow Him. Truly follow Him, pursuing His will and His Kingdom purposes, no matter the economic landscape. We must follow Him out of love and obedience, not some new external motivation, based on the hope of financial reward.

It will only happen if we completely surrender. We can do without so much of what we have. We cannot do without Him. Neither can they.


dad

3 Comments:

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Dad,
Thanks for this message. It is one that I needed to hear this morning.

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Shannon said...

Amen and amen! Very well said! Thank you.

I have been enjoying all your reports from your trips. It is no wonder BJ had trouble with the "short version" he had a wonderful example. You weave such emotion and detail as you share with us from your heart. Thank you so much for continuing to share your life and Christ's love to the world! Blessings on you!
Shannon Barlow

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God!

I too just want to praise Him this morning. This is partially over a small incident in which He helped save my morning for me. Amazing how the Lord of the Universe will take time to help us even with our small issues (though, it didn't seem small at the time!). I appreciated your message on materialism. I too have been plagued at seeing this issue creep more and more into Christianity here. May God wake us all up to what is happening around us.

Lisa Potter
Santa Cruz, CA

 

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